Monday, March 3, 2014

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 -- QEP Withdraws Proposal To Unitize Grail Field

QEP requests to withdraw its proposal to unitize the Grail oil field. The NDIC approves without prejudice. Case 21213; orders 23517, 24239. A "huge thank you" to a reader for sending me this. I believe NDIC orders are published/archived in "Premium Services" to which I do not subscribe.

Another month, another ObamaCare delay. The Hill is reporting:
The Obama administration is set to announce another major delay in implementing the Affordable Care Act, easing election pressure on Democrats.
As early as this week, according to two sources, the White House will announce a new directive allowing insurers to continue offering health plans that do not meet ObamaCare’s minimum coverage requirements.
Prolonging the “keep your plan” fix will avoid another wave of health policy cancellations otherwise expected this fall.
Active rigs in North Dakota:

Active Rigs18918320717298

 RBN Energy: Jones Act vessels through the Panama Canal.
There are no crude pipelines running from the Gulf Coast refining region to the West Coast. A Kinder Morgan plan to build such a pipeline last year (2013) floundered on lack of shipper interest. Surging crude supplies at the Gulf Coast and downward pressure on prices in the absence of an end to the crude oil export ban raise the tantalizing possibility of moving crude East to West through the Panama Canal (or the Transpanama pipeline). Today we look at the economics of such shipments.

The Wall Street Union

So much for the Crimean Crisis. It's over. That was easy.


The glue that holds the grid together is a network of transformers, the hulking gray boxes of steel and copper that weigh up to 800,000 pounds and make it possible to move power long distances. Transformers were badly damaged in an attack on a California substation last year, and government reports have warned for years that saboteurs could cause sustained damage to the grid by targeting the massive machines.
Only a handful of companies build transformers in the U.S., and it can take weeks or months to ship transformers in from overseas. The manufacturing process itself can last more than a year, in part because a transformer can't be bought off the shelf but rather must be made to measure for its substation.  
There's actually a bigger story regarding transformers than terrorism, a story we've discussed before.


Porsche Cars North America unit reports February sales increased 15% y/y to 3,232 vehicles.

Subaru of America reports February sales increased 24% y/y to 34,909 vehicles. 

Nine (9) Producing Wells Completed -- The Williston Basin, North Dakota, USA; EOG To Report Two Huge Parshall Wells Wednesday

Active rigs:

Active Rigs18918420717096

No new permits issued today.

Wells coming off confidential list were posted earlier; see sidebar at the right.

Nine (9) producing wells completed:
  • 20916, 2,361, HRC, Fort Berthold 151-94-34C-27-2H, Antelope, t1/14; cum 9K 12/13;
  • 24414, 2,856, Statoil, Garmann 19-18 4TFH, Banks, t2/13;  cum --
  • 24752, 1,377, ERF, Bobcat 150-94-04A-09H, Spotted Horn, t1/14; cum 16K 12/13;
  • 24784, 891, Hess, LK-Bice-147-97-1201H-3, Big Gulch, t2/14; cum 10K 12/13;
  • 24839, 758, CLR, Dolezal 3-5H, Chimney Butte, t2/14; cum --
  • 25312, 939, Hess, EN-WEyrauch A 154-93-1720H-8, Robinson Lake, t1/14; cum 10K 12/13;
  • 25422, 2,757, XTO, Alice 44X-34D, Siverston, t2/14; cum --
  • 25423, 2,798, XTO, Alice 44X-34H, Siverston, t2/14; cum --  
  • 25426, 996, Hess, EN-Nelson 155-94-3328H-3, Alkali Creek, t1/14; cum 14K 12/13;
Wells coming off the confidential list Tuesday:
  • 25335, drl, XTO, Martin Federal 21X-33B, Cedar Coulee, no production data,
  • 25541, drl, XTO, Clarence Federal 34X-7B, Haystack Butte, no production data,
  • 25802, drl, KOG, Koala Wold 153-97-1-5-9-15H, Banks, no production data,
  • 25896, 116, Denbury Onshore, CHSU 31B-27SHR 15, Cedar Hills, South Red River B, t10/13; cum 16K 12/13;
  • 25920, drl, Emerald, Hot Rod 4-27-26H, Boxcar Butte, 31K as of 12/13;
  • 26012, drl, Hess, HA-Chapin 152-95-3239H-4, Hawkeye, no production data,
Wells coming off the confidential list Wednesday:
  • 21529, 2,015, Newfield, Pittsburgh Federal 153-96-3-2H, Sand Creek, t11/13; cum 37K 12/13;
  • 21530, 2,058, Newfield, Pittsburgh Federal 153-96-3-3H, Sand Creek, t11/13; cum 26K 12/13;
  • 24076, 1.096, EOG, Austin 31-2919H, Parshall, a huge well; 175K in less than five months; t9/13; cum 175K 12/13;
  • 25526, drl, HRC, Fort Berthold 152-94-11B-14-7H, Antelope, no production data,
  • 25527, drl, Zavanna, Sylvester 32-29 3TFH, Springbrook, no production data,
  • 25651, 1,179, EOG, Austin 36-0532H, Parshall, t9/13; cum 96K 12/13;
  • 25676, 15, Whiting, Davidson 44-31H, Beach, a Red River well, t11/13; cum -- 
  • 25729, 570, Fidelity, Cindy 14-23H, Dickinson, t9/13; cum 32K 12/13;
  • 25803, drl, KOG, Koala Wold 153-97-1-5-8-15H3, Banks, no production data,
  • 25999, drl, Oasis, Kelter 7-1HTF3, Eightmile, no production data,
  • 26053, drl, CLR, Winston 5-12H1, Long Creek, no production data,
  • 26054, 768, Hess, BW-Thelma 150-99-3031H-2, South Tobacco Garden, t2/14; cum 10K 1/14;
  • 26255, 100, Legacy, Legacy Et Al Bernstein 12-7 2H, Red Rock, a Spearfish well, t9/13; cum 1/14;


24076, see above, EOG, Austin 31-2919H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

25651, see above, EOG, Austin 36-0532H, Parshall:

DateOil RunsMCF Sold

Bakken Pipeline Analysis -- Update -- Oil & Gas Journal


March 3, 2014: the WSJ had an almost identical article. It seems I've read it before; I don't know. Regardless, here is the WSJ article -- rail trumps pipeline in North Dakota

Original Post

This is a very, very good analysis of the Bakken pipeline, sent in by a reader. It is at The Oil & Gas Journal and may require a log-in. If it does and you don't have a subscription, take a phrase and google it. It's a very, very good page to save to your computer for archival purposes if interested in this stuff. Some data points:
More than 760,000 b/d, or 71%, of Williston basin production is leaving North Dakota by rail. This number dipped slightly as the WTI-Brent spread narrowed, but the spread between North Dakota light sweet and Brent was still wide enough to warrant prudent crude-by-rail shipments.
The majority of crude oil moving by rail within the US and Canada is from the Bakken. EPRINC estimates that of the 1.4-million b/d of crude oil and petroleum products moving via rail in the US alone, roughly 900,000 b/d is crude oil. Of the 700,000 b/d of crude oil and petroleum product moving via rail in Canada, about 160,000 b/d is crude oil. Together, 1-million b/d of crude is moving via rail in the US and Canada, 780,000 b/d of which is Bakken crude.
An additional 100,000 b/d is likely moving from other plays within the US (the Niobrara and Anadarko formations). Roughly 160,000 b/d is moving out of Canada to refineries within Canada, along the US East Coast, and increasingly to the Gulf Coast. And roughly 600,000 b/d of ethanol bound for the gasoline supply is also moved via rail.
Canadian railroads have not moved as quickly as US railroads to accommodate growing, discounted production in their backyard. Origin terminals are being planned and rapidly built in Canada, but only a few sites are currently available to unload and process heavy bitumen via rail. The most likely method for shipping bitumen via rail would be heated cars, avoiding diluent or condensate use, each of which add cost. Without the diluent, however, proper unloading of the rail cars requires heating, which in turn requires the necessary infrastructure at the unloading facility.
The story includes several graphics and spreadsheets. A very good source, again, for those interested in this stuff.

Another Month, Another ObamaCare Deadline; "1099-Jobs"; Another Derailment

US News & World Report is reporting:
Consumers can expect a relatively smooth experience on the site now, though the administration has admitted that issues still persist. In December, the White House completed a series of fixes that allows the site to handle up to 50,000 users at once, and the system was working 90 percent of the time, according to a Health and Human Services report.  
And that about says it all. I imagine Amazon, Google, Apple, and a few other Fortune 500 companies would be going broke if their on-line services were working 90 percent of the time. Can you imagine if your smartphone worked only 90% of the time?

And you know it is human nature to round up to make the numbers look better. If "they" say it works 90% of the time, one can assume it might be working 75% to 85% of the time.

Regardless of what side of the issue one is on with regard to ObamaCare, a website working 90% of the time isn't exactly reassuring.


Wow, again, now folks at CashWise, Williston, the heart of the Bakken, again talking about ObamaCare hurting them. This is a young, slow-talking out-of-stater up here looking for a job. Huge complaints about ObamaCare. The older Willistonite retiree says young folks (like the one he is talking to) will be paying for the health care of old retirees like him. The older retiree is telling the younger worker he will end up on welfare. I honestly didn't think folks were all that concerned about ObamaCare here in the booming oil patch. They also talk about "1099-jobs" and that workers are being surprised by how much they owe the government. I've heard that more than once: folks not wanting to take "1099-jobs." That's the first I had heard of "1099-jobs" anywhere in the country. Interesting. A million stories in the Bakken.


By the way, there was another BNSF derailment yesterday: eastern Montana, empty coal cars. It turns out that, unlike highly flammable Bakken crude oil, empty coal cars do not burst into flame.

The Best Sports Restaurant Ever?

Dad treated us to another wonderful meal at the Williston Brewing Company yesterday, which made it two days in a row. It's an incredible sports restaurant. A few photos will be posted down at the bottom.

I tasted the two Williston brewed beers (I believe they are actually brewed in Bismarck, but that's close enough): the Williston Brewing Co Liquid Gold Seasonal and the Williston Brewing Co 1280 Ale. Of the two, the 1280 has much more flavor. Both are nice. I think if I lived in Williston, I would make it a goal to try 34 of the 40 beers on tap.

I think one could watch, on the big screens, any sport that might be playing somewhere -- in fact, I think, I recall seeing a soccer game.

But, not one screen was showing the NASCAR race. I understand the "traditional northwestern North Dakotan" might not be interested in NASCAR but there are a lot of folks from the south up here, and they might appreciate NASCAR.  I see Harvick won. They had the golf tournament; I see Tiger Woods pulled out of the final round due to back spasms at the 13th hole. It was good to see Russell Henley win the Honda Classic; tough match for Rory McIlroy. And then this about Tiger:
Tiger Woods' health -- He walked off the golf course on Sunday with back issues, adding another wrinkle to a long line of issues he's had with his knees, Achilles, back and various other parts of his body. Woods is a fighter, a guy that grinds out every round and hopes to improve it by one or two shots, so he isn't one to quit on a round, so this health thing is really becoming an issue for the No. 1 player in the world. Can you remember another top-notch golfer that had to deal with this many random injuries over his career?
How does one spell psychosomatic?

Bathrooms At The American Brewing Company

Yes, I had the same thought.


I mentioned the other day that Home of Economy in Williston might have the largest selection of  Carhartt in the country. It was just a WAG; I really didn't know. I also mentioned that Home of Economy must have recently had their grand opening, but again, I did not know for sure.

Now, today, while eating my maple long john and drinking great coffee at Go-GO Donuts on Main Street in Williston, I saw a note on the front page that said the Williston Home of Economy had the largest selection of Carhartt FR in the country (FR = flame resistant).

In that same note, the "grand opening" was mentioned, so it either happened or is in the process of happening. Either way, it's the best story in the region for work clothes, at least from my perspective.

Porcupine Hunting -- Only In The Bakken

I left early this morning to drive over to Grenora to take some photos of oil wells for a friend. I had to turn back; the blowing snow made it simply too dangerous. I might try again later this afternoon. If I can't get there today, it will have to wait. I plan to start my trip back to Texas tomorrow.

Having said that, it was not a wasted trip (no trip in western North Dakota is a wasted trip, by the way). I heard an interesting live report from the field, the hayfield. It turns out the reporter was out and about yesterday with his dog when he came upon a porcupine. He couldn't risk going after the porcupine with the dog with him. Porcupine quills generate a force field that attract dogs. Not a pretty sight.

So, the reporter came back to the hayfield this morning without his dog. Porcupines strip the bark off trees which kills the trees, and because there are so few trees in western North Dakota, local residents do what they can to protect them. So the reporter, live reporting from the field, figured out where the porcupine might be and while reporting live, he caught up with the porcupine and then fired a shot from his 22-hand-gun -- at least I think he said it was a hand-gun, not a rifle -- and killed the porcupine. A second shot was heard, just to make sure. He sells the porcupine to an outfit in Salt Lake City for $5/pelt. Apparently they use pretty much all of the pelt to make moccasins, etc. They probably sent the quills to Washington, DC, for bureaucrats to use.


By the way, speaking of trees, some years ago, my brother was giving me directions to where his horse might be running loose during the winter. He told me to drive north of Williston, about 8 or 9 miles and then when I came to the tree -- yes, when I came to THE tree -- I was to turn right on the gravel road.

I found the tree, and his horse.

Today, I suppose his directions would be to drive north 8 or 9 miles and when I came to the oil rig....

Three Forks Wells In Far Northwest Corner Of North Dakota Look Promising

I'll be the first to admit that I wasn't too excited about the Bakken/Three Forks in the far northwest corner of North Dakota, specifically Divide County and even more specifically, that very small oil field, Fortuna.

But over the weekend two nice Fortuna wells were reported; the first one did not report an IP but production looks nice. The well name does not indicate it but the well files say these are Three Forks wells which was not unexpected:
  • 25713, n/d, Murex, Deanna Marie 34-27H, Fortuna, a Three Forks well, tn/d, cum 28K 12/13;
  • 26142, 544, Mountain Divide, Charlotte 1-12-1H, Fortuna, a Three Forks well, 32 stages; 2.6 million pounds, t11/13; cum 35K 12/13;
Overheard in Cashwise

"You know, John, don't you? He got a big bill from Obama. He quit his job at UPS. ObamaCare."

I couldn't remember the UPS story and ObamaCare, so I searched the blog: from August 21, 2013:

Monday, March 3, 2014: Blowing Snow In The Bakken; Washington, DC, Shut Down; Schools Closed In DFW (Texas) -- Global Warming

The folks in Minnesota are comparing the winter of 2013 - 2014 to the harsh winters of the 30's and the 70's.

My dad describes the hot summer of 1935 and the harsh winter of 1936:
"The winter of 1935 - 36 was one of the worst winters on record,” Carl remembered. “ I turned 14 on February 6, 1936. I was in the eighth grade attending Milberg School located in South Highland District.

“1935 was very dry and hot. Temperatures of 106 degrees were reported that summer. Not much green grew on the dry land except Russian thistle. I saw my dad cut the corn and grain and stack these cuttings along with the Russian thistle.

“We kept our cattle, usually about eight head, the five horses, and about 400 feeder lambs on the home place. My dad tried to keep about 400 head of ewes on the land he rented across the road about two miles distant (these were the ewes that had summer pasture on the old homestead).

“Then around the end of January the terrible winter struck. It was 40 degrees below zero for three weeks straight. We watered our cows and horses out of the ponds. It got so cold that the ponds froze solid to the bottom. It was then necessary to haul water from our neighbor’s well, about 2 miles from our place. We put chains on our 1928 Model “A” Ford. A 50-gallon barrel was placed on the front bumper and leaned against the hood. Two 5-gallon cream cans were hauled inside the car. We made many trips a day to water the cattle. The horses and sheep could get by on snow.

Active rigs:

Active Rigs19218420717096

RBN Energy: Part 2 of "The night they drove old Dakota express down."
When it comes back up, it will be In the latter half of 2013 two very similar pipeline projects dueled it out with shippers in North Dakota to secure commitments to move crude out of the Bakken into the Midwest and points south. After addressing some concerns raised by federal regulators about tariff structure, the Enbridge and Marathon Petroleum Company Sandpiper proposal appears to be on track for approval. The rival Koch Dakota Express project was abruptly cancelled in January of this year. In pure capacity terms both these pipelines were "nice to have" not "need to have."
The Wall Street Journal

Lead story, of course: EU, US, threaten to punish Putin. Okay. I think Putin sailed an armada os ships through President Obama's red line in the Black Sea. President Obama and Chancellor Merkel could always boycott the "Paralympic Games" in Sochi this week.

Front page story: global warming winter storm "marches" eastward. Nice pun.

 Rising numbers of German companies are generating their own electricity in reaction to a policy shift toward more ecological (= expensive) energy sources, and the government plans to clamp down on such activity. The firms will respond by moving manufacturing to third world countries, like the US.

Shale-oil boom spurs refining binge.
American refiners are set to add at least 400,000 barrels of oil-refining capacity a day to existing plants between now and 2018, according to information compiled by The Wall Street Journal and the consulting firm IHS.
That is the fuel-making equivalent of constructing a new, large-scale refinery. 
On top of that, plans are in the works for several plants capable of processing the ultralight oil extracted from the Eagle Ford shale formation in South Texas. Those facilities, which are relatively inexpensive to build, aren't technically considered refineries because they can't handle a complex array of crude types or produce a wide mix of fuels.
Heard on the street. Biting back at natural-gas bears
Rising production curbs prices" is the energy market equivalent of "dog bites man."
But what if it doesn't? Investors have seen this paradox already in oil. Bakken shale barrels have suffered sometimes big discounts on their oil even as prices on output nearer the Gulf of Mexico coast have remained high. The reason: Logistical constraints make it harder to get those Bakken barrels to market.
Oil's Midwestern glut now has a parallel in Northeastern natural gas. Gas output from the Marcellus Shale has ballooned to about 13 billion cubic feet a day from less than two billion in 2010. That has overwhelmed minimal demand growth in the region.
Already, regional discounts have opened to benchmark Henry Hub prices. Excess Northeastern gas should flow west and south to meet demand.
Citigroup estimates that if all planned pipes materialize and run flat out, then they can handle regional supply growth of two billion cubic feet a day every year out to 2018. But growth last year was double that, and pipes rarely run 100% of the time.

Record low temperature for Billings, Montana, set yesterday:
Sunday’s low in Billings of minus 21 degrees broke a record for the month of March ...
The previous coldest day for March was minus 19 degrees on March 6 and 7 in 1951, “so this cold snap we had with this snow was pretty unusual,” Tesar said. He got reports of overnight temperatures ranging from minus 21 in Billings down to minus 34 in Custer.